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Terry Pratchett has gone to meet Death

Written By: - Date published: 6:31 am, March 13th, 2015 - 48 comments
Categories: death with dignity, humour - Tags: ,

“It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life.”
― Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent

 

 


The announcement

 

 

48 comments on “Terry Pratchett has gone to meet Death”

  1. Tinfoilhat 2

    Rest in peace.

  2. Jono 3

    A bit teary on the loo, another touchstone lost. I don’t think I would be looking at the world through the same eyes if not for that first encounter with Rincewind and the luggage in the library in Form 3.

  3. halfcrown 4

    I have only read one book of Terry Pratchet, called “The Long Earth”.
    Was not at all impressed, thought it was crap but it was co written with Stephen Baxter
    Perhaps some of you good people who visit this site could recommend some of his books as I know he was very popular.

    Ta.

    • lprent 4.1

      Probably The Night Watch, Making Movies, or … hell just keep reading. I haven’t read any of the long world books yet.

      Damn that is a hell of a loss.

    • b waghorn 4.2

      Small gods was pure brilliance ,a sharp look at how religion works that’s fun to read. “Time is a drug, to much of it kills you”

      • Jono 4.2.1

        I second Small Gods, on the opiate of religion and war.

        • b waghorn 4.2.1.1

          Its the concept that a god is only as big and powerful as the number of followers he has that has stayed with me.

    • “The Long Earth” felt like the authors were just cashing in. I read it but lost interest and didn’t bother with the next one. Baxter and Pratchett by themselves are light years better than this.

      Pratchett’s “Good Omens” (written with Neil Gaiman) was a great collaboration, it’s an absolute classic piss-take of “The Omen” and the apocalyptic version of christianity

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      The one he is most famous for is the Disc World series of novels. The first, IIRC, is The Colour of Magick which I always considered a great read – it’s where you’re introduced to The Luggage.

    • Pasupial 4.5

      I started with; Equal Rites, but was a bit young for it; Pyramids, was the one that made me a true fan. If I had to recommend the best for a Discworld introduction, I would say; The Truth, which is well grounded in Pratchett’s own time in newspapers. Also it has the advantage of being almost a stand alone book, whereas most are part of wider character arcs:

      Death – (technically appears in every book, but these should be read in order) Mort, Reaper Man, Soul Music (introducing Susan), Hogfather (which there is a miniseries of), Thief of Time (which is also a semi-sequel to Small Gods).

      Witches – (again many crossovers, but mostly) Equal Rites, Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad (maybe my favourite of these), Lords & Ladies, Maskerade, Carpe Jugulum. Plus the Tiffany Aching quadrilogy which is more for younger readers.

      There are also the; City Watch books, which can be a bit and miss for me. Though the Moist von Lipwig trilogy (Going Postal, Making Money, Raising Steam) can be viewed as an offshoot of this and are excellent.The Wizard books are where it all started, but also a bit patchy. The early ones really show that they’re from a time before Pratchett had fully developed his style.

      • A+ comment. I read most of the discworld series when I moved to CHC, didn’t know anybody, and frequented the public library every other day. Now I need to read the rest 🙂

        • Pasupial 4.5.1.1

          r:r

          Thanks, though I’ve been reconsidering over the past few days and think that; The Truth, might not be the best place to recommend new readers to start after all (as it does contain spoilers for; Men at Arms, and other Watch books). I’ve been working through a scheme of grouping the DiscWorld novels into 13 trilogies (with a couple of quadrilogies, even quintillogies once the new Tiffany book comes out), but don’t intend to bore people with that here.

          A fascinating resource has been created by Krzysztof Kietzman, and is available through the Lspace Web. Though it is slightly dated (only covering the first 37 novels, plus 6 short stories, and 3 of the 4 Science of Discworld books):

          http://www.au.lspace.org/books/reading-order-guides/the-discworld-reading-order-guide-20.jpg

          The main point for this discussion of where to start reading DiscWorld is that 6 different starting points are recommended for each of the larger arcs: Colour of Magic, Equal Rites, Pyramids, Mort, Guards Guards, or Moving Pictures. I particularly like the way that; Pyramids, Small Gods & Thief of Time are grouped together as the; “Ancient Civilisations, trilogy”.

    • halfcrown 4.6

      Thank you all for your comments and opinions. It looks like I have just added another list to the extended bucket list of books I have got to read.
      Too many books and not enough years.

    • greywarshark 4.7

      @ halfcrown
      Why don’t you start on the Discworld series – The Colour of Magic is first and The Light Fantastic next, both deal with hapless wizard Rincewind who doesn’t know his own abilities and lives on the edge.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld#Novels
      Get to know the place and characters, and remember that much is adapted from ancient Greek and other old cultural themes and beliefs. And there is a theme in many – the start of rock and roll in Soul Music, Hollywood in one, the head-butting of different countries for a bit of unclaimed land, the strange ways of ivory-tower academics and so on. And always people trying to do their version of The Right Thing for the moment.

      • halfcrown 4.7.1

        Thanks for your suggestions grey, I will do that. I feel I have missed out not reading Terry Pratchett. I thought Pratchett was another Tolken/George Martin type of writer. it is obvious I was wrong. Will start reading as you suggested. That is, after I have finished reading “It’s not Rocket Science” by Ben Miller. I find this one very good but would not recommend it, as books to me are like music, an individual taste that does not suit everyone.

    • D'Esterre 4.8

      @ halfcrown: “I have only read one book of Terry Pratchet, called “The Long Earth”.
      Was not at all impressed, thought it was crap….”

      The “Long Earth” books postdate his diagnosis of Alzheimers. I haven’t read them, but somebody in this household has, and thinks that they aren’t Pratchett at his best.

      If you can find them, go back to the earliest publications; I think that “The Colour of Magic” was the first. They are hilariously funny: not to be missed. Although I think at first he was just poking gentle fun at fantasy novels, the books morphed into a series of social satires. They made me – and everyone else I know who read them – laugh uproariously. Pratchett had a wonderful knack for language and plot: small wonder his books sold so well.

      I do hope that you can track them down. I recommend that you read them in order of publication; I wish you as much pleasure in them as we’ve had over many years.

      RIP Sir Terry. Condolences to his family and friends. Thanks for all the laughter…

      • halfcrown 4.8.1

        “I do hope that you can track them down. I recommend that you read them in order of publication; I wish you as much pleasure in them as we’ve had over many years.”

        Once again Thank you, Yes these are all available on Kobo so I will be able to download to my reader

        • halfcrown 4.8.1.1

          “Yes these are all available on Kobo so I will be able to download to my reader”

          It also appears that Google Play has All of Pratchetts novels.

  4. Ovid 5

    My first was Reaper Man. It was 1994, I was 15. I spotted Paul Kidby’s cover art in the school library and was intrigued. I was lucky enough to go to a book signing the following year and he was a warm and personable man. I have no doubt his books have shaped my view of the world.

  5. Kaplan 6

    I absolutely love the discworld series.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Sir Terry about 10 years ago during a tour. He was just as engaging and witty in person as he was with his placement of words on a page.

    This is a sad loss to the world.

    RIP Sir Terry.

  6. Discworld shall live on. It is probably the best satire ever of Tolkien and modern culture. pratchettt’s characters are unforgettable: Cohen, Om, the Librarian, Rincewind, Granny Weatherwax, the Watch (esp Detritus), the Patrician, and of course Death.

    Required reading:
    * Carpe Jugulum
    * Lords and Ladies
    * Small Gods
    * Monstrous Regiment
    * Jingo
    (pertinent to current politics)
    * The Wee Free Men and its 3 sequels (more youth oriented, and utterly charming)
    Also, The colour of Magic was made into a TV special starring David Jason.

    Tony Robinson (Baldrick) spoke eloquently on Pratchett’s behalf about Alzheimer’s and Euthanasia.

    • D'Esterre 7.1

      @ ropata:rorschach: “Tony Robinson (Baldrick) spoke eloquently on Pratchett’s behalf about Alzheimer’s and Euthanasia.”

      Pratchett himself is reported as having said recently: “When my memories go, I hope they’ll take me with them.” Very neatly put. He might well have been speaking for all people with Alzheimers there.

    • My first read was Carpe Jugulum and I was hooked. When I heard Terry Pratchett had Alzheimer I could not read them any more. Now that death has taken him home to the house death build I think I am going to have to start reading the ones I missed out on. At least I know he is complete again albeit in another dimension. Discworld perhaps. I always had a sneaky suspicion he actually belonged with the Wizards in Ankh-Morpork

      • greywarshark 7.2.1

        He was drawn to a rather tall black hat and with the neat beard, looked like a very smart wizard.

  7. Rosie 8

    Awww, that is really sad news this morning.

    Mr R’s bookcase on his side of the bed, is chock a block full with every book Terry Pratchett has written. As long as I’ve known Mr R I’ve known Terry Pratchett vicariously. He is a great admirer of the writer and I know other fans have a huge respect for him. What a loss.

    Much love and respect to the family. Lovely that they could be with him till the end, and the cat too.

  8. It’s a very sad day. 🙁

  9. Paul Campbell 10

    “Oh there you are”

    IT’S ABOUT TIME

    “Well we’ll be off then”

  10. Ennui 11

    Kept my daughter entertained for hours. .Wonderful man.

    Can anybody illuminate me. Pratchett was pro euthanasia and had early onset Alzeimers. .did he decide time up or was death kindly?

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        I’ll make the point while we are passing over the subject of dignified dying, which does not have to be euthanasia (the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma.)

        The thing that is good about your own death decision, is knowing that you can choose when to die when you want without having the arrogant, authoritarian side of other humans punish you by forcing you to stay alive because of their wishes, and if family help you to die, then defame and proceed against your family. Of course using the choice option, you will explain to and include all your family to prevent deep hurt and sorrow to them. Once it is clearly stated and legal requirements met, that gives the opportunity to get on with life in a peaceful way to its most fulfilling end and to the last memorable moment.

        I hope that we can get enough intelligent and compassionate members of the public -mps, so that enough intelligent and compassionate members of parliament – MPs put through enabling legislation in the near future after intensive consultation with thoughtful and accepting and socially responsible citizens.

        • halfcrown 11.1.1.1

          I agree with you grey like 200%, I feel I should have the right to say “now is the time to turn the lights out” At the moment we are watching a very bright compassionate, and witty member of our family slowly sinking into the abyss with Alzeimers. I don’t want that to happen to me, or end up in a vegetated state through some accident. My wife says I not thinking of the people left behind. That is exactly who I am thinking of, I sooner them remember me as the arsole I am and all the fun they have had living with an arsole, than some deteriorating “thing” wearing nappies dribbling all day in a wheelchair who they feel obligated and must to go and see.
          I feel I should have the right whilst I am sane and able to put in writing by a deed of wishes or something what I want done if/when that time arrives.

          • greywarshark 11.1.1.1.1

            halfcrown
            You have put in a very lively and colourful way exactly what i think. And your wife’s reaction is covered by the way I said that family must be consulted with and have it explained. There could be a real pull not to do it if choosing to go before too many things go haywire, it would be really sad, but the person involved can then comfort the family better. When the person is dying there is often no communication, and to be alert can mean that the person is also in pain. The time with the dying one may then be a death watch and it is hard to know what to do to make it ameaningful and loving vigil.

            When there is more acceptance of planned dying it will be possible to have a wake. Properly planned to suit the departing person it would be enjoyable though poignant.

            These links relate to a retired Dutch doctor and euthanasia campaigner Dr Rob Jonquiere who spoke at various places in NZ. I went to hear him and found him a very rational, compassionate and law-abiding person not the type of person who scaremongers like to portray.
            http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/life/66864878/be-ready-to-talk-about-death-urges-doctor
            http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/336021/euthanasia-about-ending-suffering

            There are addresses for groups from google. One is Exit International (nothing to do with neo Nasty groups) and I get an internet newsletter from them. There are helpful plans to follow to ensure that you think about and understand it and fulfil all legal and moral and social requirements that should be attended to.

            • halfcrown 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks for that grey. Once again can’t argue with your comments, I think we are both on the same wavelength. I will look up those sites you have suggested
              Cheers halfcrown

  11. Sanctuary 12

    “The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

    Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

    But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

    This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”

  12. Ennui 13

    Thanks Ovid
    Great to hear that he didn’t have to decide.

  13. Wonderpup 14

    As a Librarian, all I can say is, ‘Ook’.

  14. greywarshark 15

    Ook, ook to that.

  15. Murray Rawshark 16

    RIP Tusitala. Thanks for the stories.

  16. Pasupial 17

    ‘Put it behind us and move on’ is a political term used meaning, “I’ve done something I ought to be thoroughly ashamed of, if not actually prosecuted with the full force of the law, so I wish to push the issue away before people start looking too hard.”

    http://loki.ovh.org/T%20Pratchett%20-%20A%20Collegiate%20Casting-Out%20Of%20Devilish%20Devices.htm

    I thought I’d read all there was to read of Discworld (barring the; calenders, diaries and other ephemera), but there’s still the occasional gem to be found. The above is a footnote from a short story that wasn’t in; Once More with Footnotes. But is available online, and also apparently in; A Blink of the Screen, the more recent compilation of Pratchett’s short fiction.

    Also apparently there is one more Tiffany Aching book; The Shepherd’s Crown, due out September this year!

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